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Survivor: Vanuatu - Advice for the Remaining 17by Jeffrey Clinard -- 09/20/2004
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I'm going to depart a bit from my usual style to dwell a bit on themes. They have been a part of Survivor from the start, though it has gotten more pronounced in each version of the game. They went from tikis in the first series to the history of piracy and looting in the Pearl Islands - not to mention buried treasure. The main thematic elements in Vanuatu are that sorcery is real and the dead have power over the living. Sorcery can certainly be real if put in game terms. The men earned a spirit stone in the first episode. I would never discount the value of the rock to the tribe. Perhaps others can be gained in challenges - for winning, or for completing some optional tasks in the challenges. Perhaps, alone, the stones are without value, but combined with others might provide something of real value - fire, shelter, food, water, tools - or straight good luck in terms of the ability to bypass the other tribe at certain phases of a challenge. It's kind of like the buried treasure keys and maps in the Pearl Islands, a bonus game.
The other item is the power of the dead over the living. After episode one, we had our first "dead" Survivor, Brook. The logical place for the dead to have power over the living is at the most sacred place for the tribe, tribal council. But what hold can the dead have over the living? Voting at tribal council? Just appearing at it, and making comments? The ability to send one member of the tribe to the other camp? Or perhaps it's all just my idea of a thematic twist for this version of Survivor. In any case, I hope something interesting happens. It’s just one of those things that makes Survivor such an interesting game.
As usual, tribes need to play to their strengths. For the men, it's going to be physical strength; for the women, balance and endurance. The balance beam portion of the challenge again pointed out the difference between men and women (and why the balance beam is a gymnastics event for women - their center of gravity is different). Women will almost always beat men in that kind of challenge. However, if strength is tested, the men should do better. We’ve already seen the first example of this when Brady recovered the spirit stone. On camp matters, I believe the men will get their shelter built faster and may get the first kill of fish or pig. Of course, we've seen the problems the women are having in camp already, so maybe that's a safe bet.
With only an hour of show and 18 Survivors, it's a bit difficult to give specific advice to everybody, but I'll do my best. Here is my advice for the remaining 17:
Yasur: The tribe did well at the challenge, working together to complete all parts of it before the men had gotten past the balance beam. However, in camp matters, there must be some tribe unity. Oddly enough, the two biggest pieces of advice I can give are totally contradictory. The first is for the younger women to concentrate more on the basics (shelter, firewood, water runs, food gathering) and less time taking baths and finding things for mudpacks. This is going to be rough, and the sooner you realize this isn't summer camp, the better off your tribe will be. The second piece is for the older women, and that is to stop working on the shelter. As for which piece of advice is correct, I'm going to have to say the second one. Yes, objectively they should work on the shelter, but my count had the workers outnumbered by the sorority girls. Might does make right in this case, and it just might take a few days for the true situation to sink in to the younger women. The older ones need to fit in with the group, even at the cost of being warm and dry.
Twila: Quit working on the shelter, or keep working on it, but don't say another word about it. You've got problems. There are only three of you workers and five sorority girls. Somehow, you, Scout, and Leann are going to have to steal a couple of votes, or you will have worked hard for the shelter of others.
Scout: I don't think it was a bad idea to find a place to stop for the night, and then get to the campsite the next morning. It was raining, the rocks were slippery, and it was dark. You can't control the weather, but daylight would have been better for the trek. It's not like there was anything much at camp that could help you with the overnight stay, either. Still, if the others wanted to proceed, you had to go. Making yourself an outcast the first night would have been a big mistake. However, you're still a misfit in your tribe - a worker surrounded by bowheads. If tribal priority is on swimming and mudpacks, that's what you need to do. What you need to do is approach the two bowheads who are the least like sorority girls and pull them into a voting alliance. That can protect you much better than the shelter ever could.
Leann: Like Scout and Twila, you've either got to quit working on the shelter until it becomes a tribal priority and start finding ways to make beauty aids out of the available materials, or you need to figure out where to get the votes to protect yourself at tribal council.
Eliza: First things first - shut your big yapper. Nobody in the history of the game has won by yaking away all day and all night. Second, I don't think you quite grasped the concept of what was going on at tribal initiation. Jeff Probst warned everybody that THEY were the foreigners in Vanuatu. If women are second-class citizens, deal with it. You never know if the natives will be peeking in on how are you faring as a tribe, and disrespect for them is never a good idea. Trust me, flinching at the sacrifice wasn't the right move. If your tribe is lucky, it won't be the only thing slaughtered during your stay on the islands of fire. Finally, I don't know if you've ever seen Survivor before, but you aren't going to have things like fire and shelter handed to you. You've got to earn them. So please, give the ears of your tribe mates "reasonable breaks" from your lip, and either pitch in and work, or expect to go cold and hungry.
Dolly, Lisa, Julie, Mia, and Ami:. You are going to be cold, wet, and hungry in this game until you take it a little more seriously. While you have the basis for the second “cute girls alliance,” your ability to win challenges will be hampered if you don't have food, water, and shelter. Finding beauty aids in the middle of a volcanic island should be a lower priority item. The other women don't care, and the men don't vote. However, I suspect you are going to have to learn the hard way that this isn't a vacation paradise. It's a very real survival situation.1 2 Next-->
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